Thursday, September 23, 2010

Potato & Tomato Bake (from Catherine's Italian Kitchen)

After making the utterly delicious Zuppa di Pomodoro from Catherine's Italian Kitchen, I still had some tomatoes left from Dad's generous gift.  I wanted to make a potato gratin for dinner and thought that Catherine's recipe for Patate e Pomodoro al Forno was just the thing to combine them both.  As usual, I didn't have all the ingredients to hand, but I made an emergency substitution, cut the quantities in half to feed 2 starving people and off I went!

Potato and Tomato Bake

1kg Potatoes, peeled
100ml Milk
3 Garlic Cloves, sliced
1 tsp Fennel Seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp Saffron
3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
120ml Vegetable Stock
4 tbsp White Breadcrumbs
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place the potatoes on a pot, cover with water, bring to the boil & simmer for 5- minutes.  Drain & then slice thinly when they're cool enough to handle without wincing - using a mandolin makes this very simple indeed!

Preheat your oven to 180c & butter a 20cm square lasagne dish

Mix the milk, garlic, fennel seeds, saffron, salt & pepper in a jug

Season the base of your dish with salt & pepper and then put a layer of potatoes, a layer of tomatoes & some of the stock.  Repeat until you've used up all the potatoes & tomatoes, and finish with a layer of potatoes.  Now pour over the stock

Mix the breadcrumbs & parmesan together & scatter over the potatoes, and drizzle with the olive oil.

Bake for about 90 minutes.  Check it every so often & use the back of a spatula to press the potatoes down.  When the potatoes are tender, and the surface is crisp and golden, it's ready!

This was an absolutely gorgeous dish - very light and much healthier than a regular Potato Gratin... and you're getting some of your 5 a Day with the tomatoes.  Now what shall I cook next?

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